There's that time in an artist's career when it all comes together. When it's their time to be who they are. To come through with a collection of songs that captures the right vibe, at the right time, in just the right way.
Avant's self-titled Capitol Records debut is the right music at the right time by a man who's firmly in control and knows it. "Seven years and five albums deep, I've got a resume and track record," says the multi platinum R&B singer/songwriter. "I've proved my point which is why I decided to call the album Avant, because it reflects who I am. I have more confidence as a singer and songwriter and as a result, this record came out really strong and I'm really pleased with it.
The idea for this record was to come with something new and with this album, that's exactly what I did." Helping Avant bring in that newness is a crew of innovative producers that include Trackmasters (LL Cool J), The Architects (Missy Elliott) Smurf a.k.a. Collipark (Soulja Boy), and Anonymous aka Eric Dawkins, and Antonio Dixon (Fantasia). The talented duo is behind Avant's soulful first single "When It Hurts". The ballad, written (as was the entire album), by Avant and featuring fluid, nuanced vocals, "When It Hurts" is an honest look at the ups and downs of a relationship." It's a song about the basics of love," Avant explains. "Because no matter what in any relationship there's going to be someone getting hurt. So, in the song I say to the woman that when it hurts will we still be the same two lovers? If you hurt me how can I get over it or how will you? The nature of the song is asking can we still get past the pain and be with each other." Another aspect or maybe more accurately position of love- fires up ""Let Me Break Your Back." With Avant's smooth vocals riding on top of a mid tempo rhythm, "Let Me Break Your Back" is a nicely nasty ode to, well- you got it. "I know that my fans expect and look to me for the way I try and come across with a love song", Avant explains, "but at the same time, as a songwriter I also know there's nothing new under the sun. My job is to find new ways of saying things that you might have heard before. I think one of the reasons I've been able to enjoy the kind of longevity I've had is that I write songs that are about real life situations. That was the idea behind "Let Me Break Your Back."
Although Avant is an acclaimed songwriter- with credits that include old school legends Ronald Isley (Isley Brothers) and the Gap Bands' Charlie Wilson, he's not averse to covering another writer's material, especially if it allows him to bring his own style. Such is the case with Avant's rendition of Christopher Cross's multiple Grammy winning "Sailing," originally recorded in 1980. Growing up "Sailing" was one of Avant's favorite songs and judging by his understated, languid performance, clearly remains one to this day.